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Once again, unfettered capitalism has failed. Promises for global prosperity and peace have given way to a world of deep recession, social upheaval and political instability. Once again, mainstream economics has proved its inadequacy. Despite its technical rigour and mathematical virtuosity, it failed dramatically to respond to the current crisis. Why is this so? Mainstream economics turns a blind eye to society. By assumption, it maims its analyses by wiping away what makes us what we are. There is pressing need for a critical discussion and new ideas.
We therefore turn to the insightful and stimulating work of Pierre Bourdieu. Arguably one of the major sociologists ever, he was also a major ‘economist’. Yet his works on the economy have received only scant attention, especially from economists, be they ‘mainstream’ or ‘heterodox’. Bourdieu helps to take a broader view and enrich our scientific imagination. By including dimensions of power, intuitive behaviour and social structures within the scope of his analysis, he provides for an alternative foundation of economics, based on an integrated, interdisciplinary theory. For the first time, this volume fills this gap in economics by featuring state-of-the-art research and experts from different social science disciplines. This book constitutes a first step, and hopes to become a milestone.
The book offers an innovative outlook and a unique source for social scientists of all fields, particularly economists and sociologists, who wish to engage in the study of Bourdieu and his economics with a view to developing a more pertinent theory. It will also constitute a useful reference for university students and administrators who would like to explore the economy from a Bourdieusian perspective.